When Babies Sweat
You expected night sweats to be your problem -- eventually -- but is it normal for your tiny peanut to perspire when he sleeps?
Often, yes; temperature is controlled by the nervous system, which like many other parts of your baby's body isn't yet fully matured, according to Edna L. Tello, M.D., a Coral Gables, Florida, pediatrician and mom. And like adults, some babies just naturally sweat more than others. Still, there are two instances when you may want to worry a little more (don't freak out -- the operative word here is "may"):
If your baby is younger than 6 months and there is the possibility that you may be overbundling her at bedtime now that the weather is chill -- overheating is a definite SIDS risk. Experts say the ideal room temperature should be between 68 and 72° F. In addition, using blankets, comforters, or quilts can impair your baby's ability to breathe, notes Dr. Tello. In cold weather, a sleep sack is the safest choice to keep her cozy; in warmer weather, dress her in comfortable lightweight jammies or a snap-bottom undershirt.
If you notice what seems like excessive sweating not just during rest, but also during other day-to-day activities such as feedings, you should bring it up with your pediatrician. This could be a sign of a heart problem, especially when accompanied by poor weight gain or weight loss plus paleness or dusky skin color during episodes of crying and feeding, notes Dr. Tello. Rarely, excessive sweating could also be a sign of a nervous system disorder, breathing problem, an overactive thyroid, or a genetic disorder (though again, there would be other symptoms that something was amiss). Still, If you're at all concerned, it's always a good idea to bring it up with your baby's doctor.